Annual Report 2017

Task 8 - Consenting Processes for Ocean Energy

The progress of ocean energy projects in all the OES member countries continues to face challenges in relation to consenting processes. This can be detrimental to the sector and may also lead to delays in realising operational projects with consequences for budgeting and real costs to developers.

The Report published by the OES in 2016 presents a summary from each OES member on their national programme activities. Coupled with this, particular emphasis has been placed on investigating the main barriers associated with permitting and licensing with a view to advising regulators and decision-makers on the key needs of the ocean energy sector from consenting processes.

Developers were also given the opportunity to provide their views and insights on barriers as experienced by them in consenting of their ocean energy projects to date.


Start date: 2014
End date: Permanent

Ana Brito Melo, WavEC, Portugal

All member countries

OES website

The report has paid particular attention to Marine Spatial Planning and how this is influencing consenting processes and ocean energy device deployments. In addition, OES member representatives provided information on the authorities involved in consenting, the procedures within the consenting process, Environmental Impact Assessment, legislative and regulatory developments, consultation, guidance and test centres. This forms a succinct overview of current practice with the aim of providing a holistic picture of the situation in each OES member country and draw tentative conclusions on whether more integrated approaches to planning are fully operational within OES countries.

Information about consenting processes on Ocean Energy is available at the OES website.



  1. Develop messages on what msp can do for the ocean energy sector
  2. Request authorities involved in consenting to provide clear information on their respective roles and responsibilities and how they can be contacted
  3. Where appropriate, consenting authorities should have an applicable process for consenting an ocean energy deployment and provide information on this (linked to rec.2)
  4. Request consenting authorities to identify opportunities for streamlining their consenting processes and/or provide information on how they coordinate their actions with other relevant authorities
  5. Tailor consents and associated procedures to better facilitate ocean energy
  6. Use strategic environmental assessment
  7. Proportionate environmental assessment and monitoring
  8. Explore the feasibility of creating initial development zones / pre-defined areas
  9. Develop guidance documents for developers that cover the technical aspects of consenting procedures
  10. Create promotional materials that explain how ocean energy is different!

Source: O’Hagan, A.M., 2016. Consenting Processes for Ocean Energy - a Report prepared on behalf of the IEA Technology Collaboration Programme for Ocean Energy Systems (OES)